Fireworks displays are fun for most humans, but pretty terrifying for pets.
Some dogs and cats are so traumatized by fireworks that they'll panic, experience elevated heart rate, and maybe even run away from home. Animal shelters across America report an increased number of lost animal companions after fireworks displays.
The Marin County Humane Society recommends the following guidelines for pet owners:
• Keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays. A quiet, sheltered "den-like" retreat is best. Close windows and curtains and turn on the TV or radio to help drown out some of the noise. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure to remove any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful if chewed.
• Make sure your pets are wearing current identification and tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned to you promptly.
• Never take your dog to a fireworks display. It's usually hot. There are always large crowds. And the dogs really don't enjoy it.
• Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a tether. Pets who normally wouldn't try to leave the yard may panic and try to escape. Dogs may become entangled in their tethers or hang themselves if they try to leap over a fence. To avoid injury, keep your pets indoors.
Other ways to help your pets
• If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by the sounds of fireworks, consult with your veterinarian in advance. Your vet may recommend a fast-acting anti-anxiety medication. The key is to give the medications before the noise starts — they are less effective if you wait until the dog is already stressed.
• And if, despite your best efforts, your pet does become lost, don't panic. Check inside garages, yards, storage sheds, basements, closets, under cars and in the shrubbery at your home and throughout the neighborhood. The Marin Humane Society can assist you in finding a lost pet. Come to the shelter to check the kennels, fill out a lost pet report and look over the "Found" reports. Search lost pets online and download lost animal flyers.
Above, relaxing music to play for your dog during fireworks displays (works pretty well on stressed-out humans, too). And below, here is a compilation of shit you should never ever do with your dog and fireworks.